Apr 04, 2023

AAMC Statement on Key Federal Funding Priorities 

AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO David J. Skorton, MD, and Chief Public Policy Officer Danielle Turnipseed, JD, MHSA, MPP, issued the following statement on the need to complete fiscal year (FY) 2024 appropriations in a timely manner:

"The AAMC is relieved that Congress has passed legislation to raise the debt ceiling and avoid an unprecedented default, which would have had catastrophic impacts on people nationwide.

As Congress is now able to shift its focus to the FY 2024 spending bills, it is crucial that lawmakers prioritize funding for agencies and programs that improve the health of the nation's patients, families, and communities.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the nation's primary funder of medical research, and nearly every test, treatment, or cure used today can be traced back to NIH-funded research. The federal investment in this research, over half of which is taking place at medical schools and teaching hospitals, is key to developing the treatments, diagnostics, cures, and preventive strategies that improve the nation's health. That is why we urge Congress to increase the NIH's base funding level to $51 billion. The cumulative nature of scientific advancement means that discoveries build upon themselves, and any failure to invest more in a particular year can result in much longer delays in discovery and development.

Additionally, we urge Congress to provide robust support for the Health Resources and Services Administration's health workforce programs, including $1.51 billion for the Title VII health professions programs and Title VIII nursing workforce development programs in FY 2024. These programs play a key role in helping to strengthen and diversify the nation's health workforce by supporting underrepresented, rural, and economically disadvantaged students through recruitment, education, training, and mentorship opportunities.

These appropriations will be particularly crucial in light of pressing health challenges nationwide, which could be heightened by provisions in the recent debt limit legislation that rescind unobligated balances from key public health and workforce programs, including the National Health Service Corps, Teaching Health Centers, and other initiatives that expand access in rural and other medically underserved areas. Similarly, while we are grateful that the recent law appropriately preserved access to the Medicaid program, we are concerned about the impact that new requirements imposed on other assistance programs could have on the health and well-being of marginalized and vulnerable communities nationwide.

The AAMC recognizes the challenge appropriators will face in drafting spending bills under the recently enacted spending limits. However, given the pervasive and ever-increasing threats to the nation's health, it is imperative now more than ever that Congress invest robustly and in a timely manner in programs and agencies that are proven to make an impact."

The AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) is a nonprofit association dedicated to improving the health of people everywhere through medical education, health care, medical research, and community collaborations. Its members are all 157 U.S. medical schools accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education; 13 accredited Canadian medical schools; approximately 400 teaching hospitals and health systems, including Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and more than 70 academic societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC leads and serves America's medical schools and teaching hospitals and the millions of individuals across academic medicine, including more than 193,000 full-time faculty members, 96,000 medical students, 153,000 resident physicians, and 60,000 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the biomedical sciences. Following a 2022 merger, the Alliance of Academic Health Centers and the Alliance of Academic Health Centers International broadened the AAMC's U.S. membership and expanded its reach to international academic health centers.